‘Sunrise’ host Sam Armytage on Monday told the 43-year-old convicted drug smuggler that she would never have expected her to pursue a career in TV.
“I covered part of your trial in Bali and if you’d said to me at the time, fast-forward 10 to 15 years time I’d be interviewing you about a reality show, I would have said ‘Oh, for goodness sake’,” Sam said before an awkward exchange.
When the TV journalist then asked Schapelle what she would say to people who were “surprised” by her TV career move, Schapelle hit back.
“Nothing, it’s all about my own self” she said.
“I did this for myself.”
The former beautician later appeared on Channel Seven’s ‘The Morning Show’ to explain in more detail her reasoning for signing up for “a lot of media” attention, saying the show gave her more confidence.
“I tend to spend a lot of time indoors. I like feeling enclosed spaces. I feel safe there,” she said.
“There is no shadows, no cameras and I just feel a lot safer. In a protective four walls… it was SAS Australia that is going to help me, that has helped me already to come out and start living a more productive life outside of my four walls.”
When host Kylie Gillies pressed her on the show being her first major public outing since returning to Australia in 2017, Schapelle reiterated she signed up to star on TV for “herself”.
“It may sound rude or offensive, I don’t mean for it to come across this way. I went on the SAS Australia purely for myself,” she said.
“Purely to challenge my mind. I’m not really interested in what the public have to say. I hope they enjoy it, yes of course, but it was purely for myself to go on this show.”
Monday night’s premiere episode saw 17 celebrities fall backwards out of a chopper into a freezing lake, check into their military-style bunker accommodation, and fight each other in the wilderness with just head padding and boxing gloves as protection.
Schapelle also talks about the psychosis she suffered while serving time in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison.
“I don’t eat meat anymore because my hallucinations were so vivid that I thought I was eating my dad’s human flesh,” she shared in an interrogation scene referring to her vegetarianism.
“The only way my body could handle it was to hallucinate.”
Schapelle’s father Michael died of cancer in 2008.
In 2014, Schapelle completed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Indonesia for smuggling marijuana, a case that strained ties between Bali and Australia.
The former beautician has always maintained her innocence, saying she was unaware she was carrying more than 4kg of marijuana in a boogie board bag when she arrived on the resort island in late 2004.
The case received huge media attention, with many Australians feeling Schapelle had been harshly treated under Indonesia’s strict drug laws, even though she could have faced the death penalty for trafficking.
She was deported from Bali in 2017.
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